Finnish online banking startup Holvi has announced both a million-scale capital investment led by Austrian investment company SpeedInvest and a EU-wide concession from the Financial Supervisory Authority that will allow the startup to start spreading its services across Europe.
Vienna-based Business angel fund Speedinvest specializes in early stage internet and mobile companies based in Central-Europe. This time, however, the VC has gone outside their comfort zone, indicating a good deal of interest as well as trust in Holvi.
“We believe the finacial sector will go through tremendous changes during the digital era and Holvi is in the frontline of this change”, says SpeedInvest CEO Oliver Holle, explaining the decision for the million euro investment.
The fund was backed by many professionals from the finance sector, such as Wirecard board member and angel investor Stefan Klestil.
The Holvi digital bank service has been tested in Finland with good results and thanks to the fund the company can now move across national borders. The first country to see Holvi services outside Finland will be Austria.
Holvi allows individuals or groups a transparent online banking service, where rather than running into complicated fees with a simple bank account, Holvi charges a small fee per transaction. By using a transaction-based strategy, Holvi's target customers are those that traditional banks aren't enthusiastic about. A sports organization or political campaign does not need large loans or hold a large deposit, making it difficult for traditional banks to monetize these accounts.
As for leadership, the startup company recently hired a Danish man to do the job: CEO Johan Lorenzen, technology and banking expert, joined Holvi from venture capital firm Sunstone and has been leading the finnish startup towards foreign grounds.